This is a brief story about how when you are too close to something it’s hard to see the truth about it.
In the spring I planted 3 large pots for my front porch. Two of them had seedlings fairly quickly and one of them never sprouted, despite being replanted twice. Two out of three isn’t bad considering we planted in May and while I watered consistently at first it has become slightly less consistent the last few weeks.
In the barren pot, I was trying to grow spearmint and will be on the hunt for starter plants early next spring, because I really think it must have been bad seed, given that all three pots had the same soil, water and sunlight conditions. I mean I watered this pot the same of the others until the end of July, when I finally had to accept nothing was going to grow in there.
The second pot was planted with Sorrel and is doing very well. I have gotten numerous cuttings, some for myself and several to share and as long as it is watered it is happy. I was really unsure about starting sorrel because it is such an old fashion herb that I had never tasted before but I am so glad I took the chance and that it is doing so well.
For the third pot I picked peppermint, because my sister has a plant and it is so useful. Mint is great for cooking or a leaf in tea or water or for use in soap… there are just so many options. So I was really excited when a little seedling came up quickly. Over the summer I was surprised at how different it looked from my sister’s plant but I kept tending it. I even planted a few more seeds at one point on the other side of the pot as it seemed slow growing, which I thought was odd for mint, but no one I knew had started their mint from seed. My sister inherited hers when it was clearly several years old, so I was sure in time it would turn into the mint I had dreamed of. Even though I knew it looked different, I never doubted it was mint.
Then as the kids went back to school I realized there was a clover flower in the pot and then it struck me and I had a good laugh. The plant that I had been tenderly caring for had been clover the whole time. I was blind to the fact it was not mint. I had commented on it several times to Ian and Sarah and even talked to my mom on the phone about how it didn’t look right, but it wasn’t until I calmed down and took a step back that I realized it just wasn’t mint.
My point in all this isn’t to be wary of cheap seed or that life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.. both good thoughts… but if something close to you doesn’t seem right, take a step back, deep breath and really look. I should have recognized this was clover months ago, but I was too close to see anything other than it wasn’t quite what I expected.
Also, it’s ok to laugh both at this mistake of mine and if you have done something like this. While I will admit I was embarrassed, I also think it’s hilarious how I was tending this little clover plant calling it mint. And yes there is a Pansy in that pot as well (from the second planting attempt). It just started blooming in the last 2 weeks, I’m still disappointed it’s not mint, but nice color for fall.
Can you relate?